Minister Duncan Named Honorary Chief of the Piikani Nation of Alberta
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PIIKANI NATION, ALBERTA (July 11, 2012) – The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, participated in a ceremony today where he was named an honorary member of the Piikani Chieftainship by the Piikani Nation of Alberta .
"It's an honour to be given this prestigious title from the Piikani Nation and I'm proud to carry my new Blackfoot name," said Minister Duncan. "This gesture acknowledges our government's recognition of the rich culture and heritage of First Nations and their contribution to Canada, and our investments in the future of Aboriginal peoples across our country."
The Piikani Nation Chief and Council invited Minister Duncan to receive an honorary Chieftainship, including a full eagle feather ceremonial head dress and a traditional Blackfoot name, "White Buffalo." This recognition symbolizes the Government of Canada's commitment to establishing strong relationships with First Nations.
"We were thoroughly impressed with the Federal Government's recent display of interest in addressing First Nation issues at the Crown–First Nations Gathering," said Chief Gayle Strikes With A Gun. "This gesture is a first step in addressing our collective struggles to re-establishing the self-determination of First Nations in this country. It gives Piikani a new hope in forging a new relationship with Canada. As a sign of a new relationship being formed, our elders feel it only appropriate that we bestow upon the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development an honorary membership with the Piikani Nation."
While at the First Nation, Minister Duncan toured the community and had dinner at the Nation's new community arbour.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable John Duncan
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
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